Prosecutors, defense differ on whether Pistorius put on artificial legs before shooting


Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 11:04 AM

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Even if Oscar Pistorius thought that he was shooting at a burglar, prosecutors say, he would still be guilty of premeditated murder.

In court today in South Africa, they also said there's "no possible explanation" to back up his claim that he believed the person he was firing at behind a closed bathroom door was a burglar, rather than his girlfriend.

The double-amputee track star, in a statement read by his lawyer, said he shot Reeva Steenkamp to death by mistake. He also said he didn't have on his prosthetic legs when he fired, thinking there was an intruder behind the door. Pistorius wept as his lawyer read his account of the shooting. In the statement, Pistorius said that after opening fire, he realized that Steenkamp was not in his bed. He says, "It filled me with horror and fear."

But the prosecutors alleged that Pistorius opened fire after the couple had engaged in a shouting match and Steenkamp fled to the bathroom. They said that Pistorius in fact took the time to put on his artificial legs and walk some seven yards from the bed to the bathroom door before opening fire through the door.

A prosecutor said of the four bullets that were fired into the door, three of them hit Steenkamp.

%@AP Links

078-c-12-(Jon Gambrell, AP correspondent covering the court proceedings)-"regain his composure"-AP correspondent Jon Gambrell reports Oscar Pistorius broke down in court as his attorney was reading from an affidavit he gave on the events that led up to the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (19 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *078 (02/19/13)>> 00:12 "regain his composure"

087-r-27-(Sound from the courtroom, before the bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius)--Sound of Oscar Pistorius' family members and other relatives in the courtroom for a bail hearing in the killing of the athlete's girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (19 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *087 (02/19/13)>> 00:27

089-a-12-(Mike Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's uncle, attending Reeva's funeral, in statement to media)-"we miss one"-Reeva Steenkamp's uncle, Mike Steenkamp, broke down while remembering his niece at the family gathering for her funeral. (19 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *089 (02/19/13)>> 00:12 "we miss one"

GRAPHICSBANK: Oscar Pistorius, South African double-amputee sprinter, stands following his bail hearing, Pretoria, South Africa, graphic element on white (19 Feb 2013)